Modern Triple crown not an impossibility

Updated: April 30, 2010, 2:17 PM ET
By Peter Keating

You can't believe what you hear in horse racing. Case in point, Bob Baffert, trainer of Kentucky Derby favorite Lookin at Lucky. After his horse drew the No. 1 position for the Derby, Baffert said, "He can't catch a break. ... Can we change the name?"

See, it's terrible to run from the rail; a horse can get caught in all kinds of traffic on the inside. In fact, only ... wait a sec ... actually, since 1900, 12 horses have won the Kentucky Derby from the No. 1 post, the MOST of any position.

Then there's this line you'll be hearing a lot of in the hours leading up to the Derby on Saturday: It's virtually impossible for a horse to win the Triple Crown these days. Today's thoroughbreds just can't take three races, at three different lengths (especially the mile-and-a-half long Belmont). After all, we haven't had a Triple Crown winner in 32 years.

Turns out, this conventional wisdom is also pure baloney.